Is Exercise During Pregnancy Safe?
In general, exercise is safe for women with normal
pregnancies who have no pre-existing health problems,
but you should always get approval from your doctor
before starting any fitness program.
Why Should I Exercise During
According to the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists (ACOG)*, pregnancy exercise:
- Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating
- Gives you energy
- Improves your mood
- Improves your posture
- Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance and
- Helps you sleep better
The Perfect Pregnancy Workout targets specific muscle
groups and adds these additional features:
- Develops mental discipline to control labor pain
- Tones your lower body to handle the demands of labor
- Strengthens your upper body to lift and hold your
baby after birth and
- Increases muscle tone to make it easier to lose
weight after your baby is born
According to a 1997 SUNY Buffalo study, extremely overweight
women who become pregnant can reduce their risk of gestational
diabetes by exercising. A recent report in Shape magazine
stated that women who gain more than 38 pounds while
pregnant have a 40% higher risk of developing breast
cancer after menopause.
Is there anything that I should
or shouldn’t do when I exercise now that I am pregnant?
The ACOG offers these general guidelines for exercise
- After 20 weeks of pregnancy, avoid doing any exercises
on your back.
- Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather or when
you are sick with fever
- Wear cool, comfortable clothing that will help you
to remain cool.
- Wear a bra that fits well and gives a lot of support
to help protect your breasts.
- Drink plenty of water to help keep you from overheating
- Make sure you consume the extra 300 calories a day
you need during pregnancy.
- Try to avoid activities that call for jumping, jarring
motions or quick changes in direction that may strain
your joints and cause injury.
The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs take away the guesswork
of pregnancy exercise by leading you through exercises
that are both safe and effective.
I’ve heard that it is only safe
to do exercises that I did before I was pregnant. Is
No, it is not true. If it has been a while since you’ve
exercised, you should start slowly, but there is no
reason that you shouldn’t begin something new. The Perfect
Pregnancy Workout DVDs offer exercise variations to
fit all levels, so beginners can start out slowly while
advanced exercisers can challenge themselves by choosing
more difficult options.
Can I exercise to lose weight
No, you should not exercise to lose weight while pregnant,
but staying active during pregnancy will make it easier
to get your body in shape after the baby is born.
How late in my pregnancy can
I do The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs?
With your doctor's permission to exercise, you can
do The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs from the beginning
of your pregnancy all the way to the end of your third
Do I need any special equipment
to do The Perfect Pregnancy Workout?
For both DVDs, you will need some pillows to prop yourself
up during abdominal exercises and a chair for balance.
For vol. 1, Intermediate and advanced exercisers may
want to add hand weights (or soup cans) for upper body
exercises and a step (optional) for step-ups. For vol.2,
it is helpful to have a scarf or yoga strap and intermediate
and advanced exercisers may want to use a thick book
or yoga block (optional).
How long are The Perfect Pregnancy
Vol. 1 is 43 minutes long: 5 minute warm-up, 33 minute
workout, 5 minute cool down. There is also a 12-minute
instructional section which explains proper exercise
technique and important considerations for pregnant
exercisers. Vol. 2 is 33 minutes long with a five minute
What makes The Perfect Pregnancy
Workout better than other exercise DVDs?
- Exercise Variations for Beginning Through Advanced
The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs
are customizable workouts appropriate to any fitness
level. This means that a beginner who finds that
she is stronger after exercising for a while can
try advanced versions of exercises without having
to get a new video that may be too difficult for
her overall. Likewise, an advanced exerciser can
tone down her workout instead of skipping it on
a low energy day. EVERYONE has low energy days during
- Pregnancy Appropriate and Easy-to-Follow Exercises
The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVDs are not standard
workouts led by a woman who happens to be pregnant,
it is a series of exercises specifically designed
to condition pregnant women to meet the demands of
labor and birth:
- Lower body exercises make the body strong and
limber to help withstand the strain of maintaining
difficult birthing positions
- Back and arm exercises help reduce back pain throughout
pregnancy and enable you to do the constant lifting
and holding your baby will need after birth
- Mental exercises help you develop discipline to
control labor pain and
- Plenty of Kegel exercises placed throughout the
workout will help you maintain the strength of your
pelvic floor muscles and reduce or eliminate incontinence
- Stretching and lengthening exercises relieve tension
and muscles aches and pain caused by your changing
- World-Class Instruction
The Perfect Pregnancy Workout vols. 1 and 2 are
led by world-class acrobats, Karyne and Sarah Steben,
respectively. The twins are gymnasts and trapeze
artists who were featured performers with the elite
Cirque du Soleil troupe for eleven years. More
about Karyne and Sarah Steben
- Inspiring Imagery and Sound
Evocative lighting, stimulating images and motivating
music combine to make these workouts a feast for
the senses. Karyne and Sarah Steben’s soothing voices,
superb muscle tone and grace make them role models
you’ll look forward to seeing again and again.
*From the publication “Exercise During Pregnancy”
published by ACOG.